Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

Introduction: What is Business Ethics?

Business ethics is the branch of applied ethics that deals with the moral responsibilities of business, especially how a business should act in relation to its employees, consumers, and competitors. The phrase “business ethics” was coined in 1899 by Percy Corliss Cumming to refer to the moral responsibility of businessmen. In the context of business and economics, the term “business ethics” is also used to refer to a school of thought and practice based on the ethical principles of an industry.[1][2]
Business ethics is a subject of study in business and management schools. It is also the subject of ongoing debate in the general media, public debates, and academic journals.[3] Since the term ‘business ethics’ was coined, it has evolved to encompass related concepts. Some people use the phrase “business ethics” to refer only to 21st century developments, such as corporate social responsibility (CSR). The earliest origins of business ethics lies in the regulations of medieval trade guilds. Pope Gregory IX’s 1234 Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum, for example, gave merchants the right to police their own companies in order to prevent unfair competition and maintain standards of quality and truthfully listing the price of goods.

managing business ethics: straight talk about how to do it right
managing business ethics: straight talk about how to do it right

What is the Role of a Management Professional in Maintaining Ethical Culture?

The role of a management professional in maintaining ethical culture is very important. Most of the times, when employees are missing out on their rights due to violating the company’s policies and codes, it is the management that has failed to monitor them. The managers need to be strict with their employees and follow up on any time an employee is alleged to be violating the rules, regulations, policies and codes. The managers need to be vigilant and stop any unethical practices as soon as they are noticed. In some cases, monitoring the practices of employees may require more than one manager. The managers need to decide on the person in charge of monitoring employees and assign them with the task of developing a system capable of identifying unethical practices among employees.
The managers can also use pre-emptive strategies to ensure that employees are not involved in any unethical practice. The managers can be involved in harmonizing the corporate culture with other stakeholders such as shareholders, customers and suppliers. This is done by monitoring the activities of the employees and auditing their records in order to ensure that there are no any illegal business practices being practiced. The managers can also prepare a code of conduct for employees to observe and follow. This will give them an idea of what ethical business practices are acceptable for their company.

managing business ethics: straight talk about how to do it right
managing business ethics: straight talk about how to do it right

How A Management Professional Can Implement an Ethical Culture at Their Company

In order to implement an ethical culture in the company, a management professional needs to introduce an ethical code at the company that everyone is going to abide by. This prevents any unethical behavior and helps employees be more involved in the growth of their company. The ethical codes should be written clearly and in simple language so anyone can understand it. This can also be placed in the company’s website. The management team needs to enforce the codes at meetings, through e-mails, or in daily conversations. You can do this by calling out people that violate the codes and you can even terminate them.

managing business ethics: straight talk about how to do it right
managing business ethics: straight talk about how to do it right

How can Leaders Create an Ethical Culture at Their Organization to Ultimately Receive the Benefits of Ethical Leadership?

Management can create an ethical culture in the organization by setting an example for others to follow. It is very important that management is not involved in any kind of unethical practices such as bribery, favoritism, and harassment of employees. Management can be ethical leaders if they are transparent with their decisions and make it clear what are their goals. Most of the times, leaders tend to follow the paths that they are being followed by.[3]
It is also important that management makes sure that the employees are aware of their rights in the workplace. Management should not investigate cases where it has no authority to investigate. Employees should be treated with respect and dignity and management should make them feel comfortable, making the work environment enjoyable.[4]

managing business ethics: straight talk about how to do it right
managing business ethics: straight talk about how to do it right